Sunday, May 22, 2011

Looks like we made it!!!

Although with all of the end of the world talks over the past did really make me stop to think WHAT IF?

As social workers we are used to dealing with many serious, crisis, life-altering and even life-ending situations. Most of them we, as well as our clients, have either little to absolutely no control over. As social workers, we really cannot do much at all besides just be there to lend an ear to listen, offer referrals to other providers, or in most cases, lend some kind of basic, comforting forms of support.

It is interesting though to stop to think about what we would do as helping professionals if we really were faced with a whole lot of destructive events at one time.

The only comparison I have, is to think back to the time when I was working in NYC during and after 9-11, when a lot of training and disaster planning went into place for social service agencies. This seemed like a major focus for social workers as well as related professions during this time period.

Despite all the talks of having disaster plans in place, what really stays with me, are the wise words of one social worker I know.

He said that the most important thing we need to remember in the event of another major disaster is that as social workers, we need to take care of ourselves (and our own families) first. We also need to understand that we probably will not be able to do anything, especially for our most vulnerable clients.

Loss is inevitable.

As a social worker have you ever had to deal with any major disaster?

How did you deal with it? Were you able to help anyone? If so, how? Or how NOT?

Do you have disaster plans in place at work? What about at home?


  1. "Loss is inevitable".

    Wow. So powerful, yet so true. I can't imagine being in a situation like 9/11 or Katrina, but know it WILL happen.

    I'm not a social work YET, but we are already talking disaster preparation in school. I'm getting ready to take a crisis intervention course that I'm hoping that will be valuable in this area.

  2. I was one of the people sent by my local authority to work in the Family Assistance Centre in London after the bombings on the transport network in 2005. I wrote about it in this post

    One of the interesting things was that I found out about the pan-London response to a terrorist attack/major disaster was because I was a part of it.